7 Cost cutting tips

We can all do a bit of cost cutting. Take a long, hard look at your budget - can you save money anywhere? Common, look again...

...let me help you free up some of your hard earned cash.

You know you want to "do" the frugal thing but that's all good and well for the long run...

...but is there anything you can do NOW?!

Here are some of my cost cutting tips. These helped me take control of my budget (and wow, did it feel good!). These may look too "easy peasy" to you and did to me too but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I was able to save each month:

  • Downgrade your cellular phone package and cancel your landline.

    Alternatively convert to "pay-as-you-go".This really made me think twice about just picking up the phone and making an unnecessary call. Now I send out an email or text message instead.

  • Phone your insurance company to negotiate a better deal on your car and household insurance.

    What a pleasant surprise! My insurance company (like many others) does not automatically reduce your insurance payment as your car depreciates in value - I apparently have to phone them every year!

  • Join a carpool for trips to work and/or when taking kids to school.

    Alternatively make use of public transport.Your friends will love this one! Everyone gets to benefit, especially with the current petrol price and possibly more petrol price hikes in future.

  • Carefully look at your grocery list and cut down on all your luxuries.

    Sadly in the beginning you have to be ruthless, as we had to! This is more difficult than it seems - my husband has an extremely sweet tooth and it took him a while to get "used" to the idea that when the cookies are finished, that's it for the month, I'm not buying any more. Things like chocolate, crisps and fizzy drinks we had to learn to do without and only on really special occasions are we "allowed" these luxuries. Oh and dessert? Sadly (for my husband) that is a luxury our budget and waists (ha, ha) can do without.

    You can also save by using your material serviettes and glass plates instead of paper plates and paper serviettes.

  • Prepare a budget every month and stick to it.

    This is also very important. Knowing how much money you have versus your expenses is an excellent start but sometimes we are just so used to buying whenever the "urge" overtakes us that we forget we can't really afford it. If it is not on your budget, then you can't have it.Don't worry the discipline and self control will come in time and you'll thank yourself later. Put the "little" bit you have left over at the end of the month in another account, no matter how small, and so start saving away.......hey it may seem impossible now, but even a tiny amount each month adds up and soon you'll have a bit saved up for that "special date" with hubby. Of course don't overdo it either, if you need to buy something "out of the ordinary", then make sure it is on the budget for that specific month.

  • Look at your budget - what can you really do without for the moment? For example...

      Gym contract;
      Your monthly massage or manicure;
      or weekly visits to the coffee shop.

    Get your daily exercise by going for a walk or run on the beach or around the block. Or take your or the next door neighbour's pooch for a walk.

    Ask your hubby to give you a massage - it may even help to give your relationships a bit of a "romantic" boost.

    Instead of colouring my hair in a salon, I decided to do it myself - I am more than happy with the results. I am not as confident when it comes to adding highlights to my hair but my mother-in-law turned out to be quite the expert (having done it for years herself),so I simply asked her to do it for me - voila! Problem solved!

    Ooh, and the visits to the coffee shop - I must admit was hard to give up but I still see my friends regularly but we now meet at each other's homes. On the odd occasion we will still meet for coffee at the local coffee shop and then it is a real treat!

    I had to cancel my son's Mums and Tots group because we could just not afford it at the time. Now we have a weekly "appointment" with other homeschoolers. Ethan still gets to socialise with kids his age but it's not costing as much!
  • Find that cheaper alternative.

    I know.... you've got that special brand you love and don't think anything else will come close to it....

    ...but if you don't try, then you'll never know!

    So try all those different cheaper products, there might just be one that almost equals your favourite brand of mayonnaisse or ketchup or margarine etc.

  • Learn how to draw up a proper family budget. !

  • Finally, STICK TO YOUR GUNS!

    It's of no use if after carefully working out a budget and after really cutting down on your grocery spending, you then spend money on "little" things (a pie and chips or chocolate bar and juice here and there - NO, no!)

  • Remember it all adds up! If you don't believe me, keep a "spend" diary of all the little extras that you buy and you'll be SURPRISED.

    This isn't all! ....

    .... there's more...

    I didn't stop here but SAVED MORE cash with these clever ways to save money . I also found some useful general strategies to save money , found ways to reduce my electricity bill and on top of it all I became quite the frugal shopper!

    There are millions of professional truck drivers worldwide, many of whom have spouses and families. While they are often overlooked for opportunities for frugality, Truck-Drivers-Money-Saving-Tips.com provides truckers with real world tips to save money and personal reporting about products and services for use on the road.

    Return from our cost cutting page to our Frugal Living Home Page

    Special thanks to Heidi Hutton for use of the beach photo. To view Heidi's work, please visit http://heidihuttonphotography.blogspot.com/2010/02/tada-before-and-after.html